International Women's Day 2020: This Mumbai restaurant has an all-woman team

It’s a maiden affair this time, announced The Terrace Café & Bar while launching their new outpost at Andheri, Mumbai. “‘A Maiden Affair' stands for strong, independent women. Coincidentally, we have only worked with women entrepreneurs – be it for the design, cocktail menu, food menus, even our PR & digital team,” explain co-owners Shivani Shroff and Paulomi Shah, who run the place with their husbands. It is also their first hospitality venture, a maiden affair.

The food and beverage is headed by accomplished women, including cocktail stylist Vidhi Puri, founder of The Cocktail Story – India’s first community that unites bartenders, bars, alco-bev brands, and spirit enthusiasts. She works alongside in-house mixologist Atul Mundaye.

Nutritionist and chef Aditi Prabhu, under the guidance of head chef Rakesh Talwar, has crafted the menu – a mix of global cuisine.

International Women's Day 2020: This Mumbai restaurant has an all-woman team
DARSHAN SAVLA

And the interiors are by Saniya Kantawala, the designer responsible for the aesthetic look of Aditya Thackeray’s office and home, DY Patil University campus, Mannrangi and Esora, among other projects.

The design brief for The Terrace was inspired by the idea of creating a visually stunning space that could mesmerise millennials as soon as they step inside – and compel them to share images on social media, thereby attracting other customers.

In this age of Facebook and Instagram, the fascination with posting what we eat and where, is re-defining the process of conceptualising a restaurant. Clients now trust designers to use attractive colours and balanced tones, and to adopt a practical approach to designing space.

International Women's Day 2020: This Mumbai restaurant has an all-woman team
DARSHAN SAVLA

When you enter The Terrace. you cannot help but notice that the interiors are bathed in a soothing shade of ‘millennial pink’, a blend of pink and terracotta that is bright and fresh.

“The dining experience begins as soon as the customer walks into a restaurant,” maintains the principal designer of SKD (Saniya Kantawala Design). “The choice of colour, material and signage inevitably add to the visual appeal of a space and entice consumers to visit it.”

International Women's Day 2020: This Mumbai restaurant has an all-woman team
DARSHAN SAVLA

The 2,200sq- ft indoor area of The Terrace has been divided into several zones, with options that vary from high community seating to circular booth seating. For Kantawala, backed by her design team (Ritu Parekh and Simran Kanugo), understanding the client brief and bringing it to life was instinctive, as she is a millennial herself – hence millennial pink has been used in a variety of ways in the space. The combination of brass and pink, eclectic seating and dramatic jewel-shaped decorative lighting, has been incorporated in different corners.

The bar has a glass façade on one side with plants and a neon light circle emblazoned with the words ‘Here comes the sun’, suggesting that happiness lies here. A key highlight, this is the most eye-catching feature of a space that is extremely quirky with pop-up art displayed on the walls.

International Women's Day 2020: This Mumbai restaurant has an all-woman team
DARSHAN SAVLA

The area around the art reflects certain imperfections, which reiterates the belief of the millennials that not everything in the world needs to be perfect.

To ensure a warm and chic ambience, materials such as wood, rich fabrics and a bit of brass have been used while creating the glass bar. “We haven't worked with too many materials, as we wanted to keep it simple – but we have put in extra effort into every detail,” insists Kantawala.

“Foamed and scraped texture paint in rust gold and grey, apart from millennial pink, are used for the wall finishes; and canvas and brass for the jewel lights.”

The art was customised in-house by the designers, with artist Sarah Kantawala doing most of the artwork. You can see a lot of quirky graphics and pop-art accessories, some of them bought from online stores such as Bent Chair.

The wallpaper in the powder room is by ZA Works. Kantawala points out that “the same pattern has been turned into a mural for the bar, and similar colour tones are used in different places to tie the whole place together.”

The outdoor area, a 600sq-ft terrace garden, has a central light installation with a profusion of plants surrounding it. Quirky plates accessorise the walls of the garden, and the seating has been arranged in such a way that it makes you feel like you are amidst an art garden. A swing lifts the ambience even further and adds to the ‘photo-worthy’ quotient of The Terrace.

This maiden affair is all set to attract millennials and others who put #ladiesfirst.

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